Put in 'naughty chair' for giving a hug
THE large number of complaints made to the Health Service Executive regarding various childcare facilities in the past year include:
A Dublin parent complained that her child came home hungry after having only a mouthful of food for lunch.
She could not eat the cold pasta and sauce on offer and no alternative was offered.
A parent in Co Meath revealed a child fell down 12 steps of a creche staircase but staff did not think it necessary to seek medical attention. The child's mother took him to hospital.
No incident report was completed and no stairgate was fitted. In another creche, a staff member told one parent that they were told to say that if a child fell off the side of a bench they should say they had "tripped over a toy".
A parent who collected his daughter from a Galway creche found her shaking and crying. The child said she was hit on the head by her teacher, and she started bed-wetting. A statement was also made to gardai.
Another mother whose daughter was attending a separate creche said she arrived to see the little girl sitting on a red chair in the middle of the room. She had been put in the "naughty chair" for hugging another child goodbye. The staff said this was not allowed because it would mean other children felt left out.
A Westmeath parent said her child repeatedly suffered nappy rash as a result of inadequate cleaning during changes.
A Mayo parent revealed that a pre-school building was so cold children had to keep their coats on. In another case, a parent who was collecting her child's coat overheard a staff member screaming at a child to "sit down and get that food in your belly now".
The mother insisted she be dismissed but the manager gave her a verbal warning instead.
Lack of staff
Inspectors in Roscommon found two staff taking responsibility for 14 children aged seven months to two years.
Another parent said her own child had to assist other babies in the toilet due to lack of staff.
A parent who visited a Dublin pre-school during an open day was horrified to see that the entrance gate to the playground was not kept locked.
There was also no gate at the pedestrian entrance even though the access led to the busy main roadway.